TORONTO – The least of center back Darren O’Dea’s problems since joining Toronto FC in August has been the move to a new city in a new country.
“Easy, it’s fantastic,” the 25-year-old Irish international told reporters last Friday after training. “We were away for six days there, coming back into the city it feels like home already. It’s been an easy adjustment.”
He says he plans to move his wife and daughter to Toronto on a permanent basis next season.
“It’s a fantastic city with lovely people,” he said, “so it’s easy.”
The winning has not come so readily. O’Dea, formerly of Scottish Premier League powers Celtic, signed on Aug. 3 and has yet to play in a winning game for his new team.
The game TFC have won since his arrival was 3-0 over CD Águila in CONCACAF Champions League play in El Salvador on Sept. 25. O’Dea sat that one out because of hamstring tightness and to give him a breather from a difficult travel schedule that included playing for the Republic of Ireland.
He returned for last Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls.
“I was anxious from the first day to win,” O’Dea said. “I think the team hasn’t done anywhere near good enough this year, which I think is fairly obvious to anyone.”
O’Dea was signed to provide leadership and he has done that. He has not been hesitant to call out the team.
“Obviously, I’m desperate to win, I’m sure it will come,” he said. “Certainly there’s not a lot more to play for within the league this year except for pride. I’m sure the offseason will be a busy offseason for the staff and next year we’ll be a lot stronger.”
He sees talent on the team even though all three Designated Players are injured. Striker Danny Koevermans and midfielder Torsten Frings are out for the season with knee and hip surgery respectively. Striker Eric Hassli has an ankle injury that could keep him out for the rest of the season.
“It’s probably the most frustrating thing is the talent is there, the ability,” O’Dea said. “It’s all there. It’s just becoming a team that can win games even you’re not playing too well.
“It doesn’t help when you’ve got your three DPs sitting injured. It doesn’t help, we’ve had injuries and things but it happens in football. I think next season we’ll be in a lot stronger position.”